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ing to give the dispute an effectual all the living. They stood motion termination by the intervention of less, and looked aghast. A new the cudgel, when I awoke, and be- scene instantly appeared. I saw hold it was a dream!
the dead rising in myriads all around The third night I found myself in me. I particularly remarked, that, the midst of a brilliant company of in the Grey-friars' church-yard, ladies and gentlemen. Cheerfulness hundreds of both sexes pushed one and innocence seemed to beam from another out of the same graves! every countenance. I was treated The day was so cold and frosty, with the utmost affability and com- that the terrified expectants of doom plaisance. My heart began to exult were all shivering. Another phewith the most pleasant emotions. nomenon solicited my attention. I The music struck up; each took his saw immense numbers of leaden fair partner by the hand, and a pipes, filled with cold water. Ansprightly dance immediately com- other trumpet was sounded, and the menced. My spirits were much angel proclaimed, that, instead of more elevated than I ever had ex- being roasted in the flames of hell, perienced on any former occasion. the damned were to have their limbs I moved through the various evolu- eternally immersed in these water tions of the dance with as much pipes. Terrified, and half petrified ease and alacrity as if my body had with this frigifying idea, I got the been a mere vehicle of air. But, in start, and awoke. Upon examinathe midst of this enchanting scene, tion, I found, that, by some accident, while setting to a young lady, my my limbs had been uncovered, and breeches fell plump to my heels! I were excessively cold. This simple quickly attempted to lay hold of incident produced the whole scenery them ; but in vain. The very I have represented. power of reaching forth my hand But here I must stop, lest I should was abstracted from me. I re- discover more of my own character mained fixed as a statue, and the than would be consistent with prudance was interrupted. The blushes dence. of the company discovered how sensibly they felt my misfortune, but none had the courage to assist me. In short, the feelings peculiar to
For the Literary Magazine. such a whimsical situation became at last so exquisitely painful, that I
HINDOO ALMANACS. should infallibly have fainted away, had not sleep instantly departed, THE almanacs in common use and restored me to reason and joy. in India are computed at Benares,
The fourth night's employment Tirhut, and Nadeea, the three was still more serious and awful. I principal seminaries of Hindoo saw a groupe of winged angels de. learning in the company's provinces; scending from the sky. One of and hence they are annually disthem, who seemed to lead and com- persed through the adjacent counmand the rest, had a large golden try. Every Brahmin who has the trumpet in his hand. When near charge of a temple, and who anthe surface of the earth, he sounded nounces the time for observing rethe instrument, the noise of which ligious ceremonies, is furnished made all nature shrink. He an- with one of these almanacs; and, if nounced the arrival of the last day, he be an astronomer, he introduces that day when the quick and the those corrections which a difference dead are to be judged, and receive of latitude and longitude may reeverlasting rewards or torments, ac- quire. The Benares almanac is cording to the merit or demerit of used in the upper part of India ; the deeds done by individual mortals. that computed at Nadeea, in Bengal; Astonislıment and anxiety arrested and the Tirhut in Bahar.
To these almanacs the Hindoos the astronomical year. The Hinare obliged to recur, in order to doos of Bengal, in all their common know what day of the month it is; transactions, date according to solar because the several months, both time, and use what is commonly solar and lunar, consist neither of a called the Bengal era : but, in the determinate number of days, nor correspondence of the Brahmins, in are regulated by any cycle, but de- dating books, and in regulating pend solely on the motions of the feasts and fasts, they generally note sun and moon; and their months the teethee. Of the Tirhut almasometimes begin on different days nac, there is reason to conjecture in various places, on account of the that it agrees with that of Nadeea difference of latitude and longitude, more than with that of Benares. as well as of the difference which arises from error in computation. The civil day in all parts of India begins at sun-rise, and is divided For the Literary Magazine. into sixty parts, called dandas, which are subdivided into sixty pa REMARKS ON ARIOSTO AND HIS las. Wherever the Benares patra is used, the civil year is lunisolar, consisting of twelve lunar months, with THE facetious author of Hudian intercalary month occasionally bras, in the argument of his first introduced. It begins at the day canto, alludes to Ariosto's method after the new moon next before the of telling a story : beginning of the solar year. The lunar month is divided into thirty Th’adventure of the bear and fiddle parts called teethees, each of which is sung, but breaks off in the middle: is equal to the time in which the true motion of the moon from the for this most celebrated Italian poet sun is twelve degrees. The method frequently contrives to end his canof computing the days by these tos in the most interesting part of his teethees, and also of counting their narrative ; and, instead of presentmonths, is extremely intricate. ing us, in the succeeding canto, with
The Nadeea almanac begins with a continuation of it, introduces the the day after that on which the as. reader perhaps to a new series tronomical year commences; this of adventures, which, in like manis called the first of the month, the ner, are left half told, for the sake next is denominated the second, and of resuming a story suddenly dropt so on to the end ; and therefore the in a former part of the poem. From number of days in the month varies this circumstance, much of the pleafrom twenty-nine to thirty-two. sure which might be derived from The names of the months are the the perusal of the Orlando is desame with those of the lunar months stroyed. Such frequent interrupia the Benares almanac: but the tions dissolve the enchantments raislunar months begin, not as those do ed by his genius, and give a painful at the full, but at the new moon, check to the pleasing illusions of and are called by the name of the the fancy. This is one reason why solar month which ends during the the readers of the Jerusalem of course of them. From the com Tasso are more numerous than those mencement of the Nadeea almanac, of the Orlando of Ariosto. It is not, and from its giving the day of the however, the only one. Setting solar month, which that of Benares aside the extreme length of the Ordoes not, we may infer that it is lando, there is a oneness in the Jecustomary, in those parts of India rusalem, which this poem does not where the Nadeea almanac is used, possess. This work of Ariosto, who to date by the solar month, and tó is the Shakespeare of the epic poets, begin the year on the next day to is a rich tissue of adventures of
dames and knights, in which a lux. of Blair, in Ayrshire, and grand, uriant imagination sports at large, son of the famous Mr. Robert Blair, regardless of former patterns, and minister of St. Andrews, chaplain to of the prescribed rules. Every lover Charles I, and one of the most zea, of poetry will pardon these eccen- lous and distinguished clergymen of tricities, and will follow Ariosto, the period in which he lived. with an enthusiasm of admiration, The views of Dr. Blair, from his through all his meanders; but the earliest youth, were turned towards general reader, finding his attention the church, and his education reperplexed and distracted, will soon ceived a suitable direction. be induced to throw the work aside. In the year 1739, he took his de.
The object of Hoale, the transla- gree of A. M. On that occasion he tor, in one of his Ariostos, was to printed and defended a thesis De remove the difficulties which occur Fundamentis et Obligatione Legis in the perusal of the Orlando, by Nature, which contains a short but giving a greater regularity to the masterly discussion of this important work than the author assigned to it, subject, and exhibits, in elegant La. in order that more readers may be tin, an outline of the moral princiinvited to enjoy the beautiful fictions ples, which have been since more with which it is so eminently en. fully unfolded and illustrated in his riched. He does not make a partial sermons. and unmeaning display of fables, On the completion of his acade. sentiments, or descriptions, which, mical course, he underwent the cus. by being violently taken from their tomary trials before the presbytery proper places, must lose all relative of Edinburgh, and received from merit; but he reduces his transla- that venerable body a license to tion into a narrower compass; by preach the gospel, on the 21st of omitting many parts not essential to October, 1741. His public life now the connection, and by compressing commenced with very favourable others: at the same time he ar, prospects. The reputation which ranges the different adventures in a he brought from the university was more uniform series, so as not only fully justified by his first appear. to lead the reader through all the ances in the pulpit; and, in a few pleasing diversities of the poet, but months, the fame of his eloquence to form a complete whole, in which procured for him a presentation the great and important action might to the parish of Colessie, in Fife, stand sufficiently marked amidst a where he was ordained to the variety of subordinate episodes. office of the holy ministry, on the
This undertaking is sufficiently 23d of September, 1742. But he was hazardous, and will ever be regard- not permitted to remain long in this ed with an evil eye by men of true rural retreat. A vacancy in the taste. Such will be apt to exclaim, second charge of the Canongate of let us have the original just as it is, Edinburgh furnished to his friends and leave us to find fault and amend an opportunity of recalling him to a according to our own judgment. station more suited to his talents.
L. And though one of the most popular
and eloquent clergymen in the
church was placed in competition For the Literary Magazine. with him, a great majority of the
electors decided in favour of this A SKETCH OF DR. HUGH BLAIR. young orator, and restored him, in
July, 1743, to the bounds of his naDR. HUGH BLAIR was born in tive city. Edinburgh, on the 7th day of April, In this station Dr. Blair continued 1718. His father, John Blair, a re- eleven years, discharging with great spectable merchant in that city, was fidelity and success the various dua descendant of the ancient family ties of the pastoral office.
In consequence of a call from the the degree of D.D., a literary honour town-council and general-session of which, at that time, was very rare Edinburgh, he was translated from in Scotland. Accordingly his first the Canongate to Lady Yester's, course of lectures was well attended, one of the city churches, on the 11th and received with great applause. of October, 1754; and on the 15th The patrons of the university, day of June, 1758, he was promoted convinced that they would form a to the High Church of Edinburgh, valuable addition to the system of the most important ecclesiastical education, agreed in the following charge in the kingdom. To this summer to institute a rhetorical charge he was raised at the request class, under his direction, as a perof the lords of council and session, manent part of their academical esand of the other distinguished offi- tablishment: and on the 7th of cial characters who have their seats April, 1762, his majesty was grain that church. And the uniform ciously pleased “ To erect and en. prudence, ability, and success which, dow a professorship of rhetoric and for a period of more than forty belles lettres in the university of years, accompanied all his ministe. Edinburgh, and to appoint Dr. Blair, rial labours in that conspicuous and in consideration of his approved quadifficult station, sufficiently evince lifications, regius professor thereof, the wisdom of their choice.
with a salary of 701.” No production of his pen had yet It was not until the year 1777 that been given to the world by himself, he could be induced to favour the except two sermons preached on world with a volume of the sermons particular occasions, some transla- which had so long furnished instructions, in verse, of passages of scrip- tion and delight to his own congreture for the psalmody of the church, gation. But this volume being well and a few articles in the Edinburgh received, the public approbation enReview; a publication begun in couraged him to proceed: three 1755, and conducted, for a short other volumes followed at different time, by some of the ablest men in intervals, and all of them experithe kingdom. But standing, as he enced a degree of success of which now did, at the head of his profes- few publications can boast. They sion, and released, by the labour of circulated rapidly and widely whereformer years, from the drudgery of ever the English tongue extends ; weekly preparation for the pulpit, they were soon translated into al he began to think seriously on a plan most all the languages of Europe ; for teaching to others that art which and his present majesty, with that had contributed so much to the es- wise attention to the interests of retablishment of his own fame. With ligion and literature which distinthis view, he communicated to his guishes his reign, was graciously friends a scheme of lectures on com- pleased to judge them worthy of a position ; and, having obtained the public reward. By a royal mandate approbation of the university, he to the exchequer in Scotland, dated began to read them in the college July 25th, 1780, a pension of 2001. a on the 11th of December, 1759. To year was conferred on their author, this undertaking he brought all the which continued unaltered till his qualifications requisite for executing death. it well, and along with them a weight The sermons contained in the last of reputation, which could not fail volume which bears his name were to give effect to the lessons he should composed at very different periods deliver. For, besides the testimony of his life ; but they were all written given to his talents by his successive out anew in his own hand, and in promotions in the church, the uni. many parts re-composed, during the versity of St. Andrew's, moved summer of 1800, after he had comchiefly by the merit of his eloquence, pleted his eighty-second year. They bad in June, 1757, conferred on him were delivered to the publishers
VOL. VI. NO, XXXIV.
about six weeks before his death, in the kingdom, solicited his corresthe form and order in which they pondence. now appear.
And it may gratify His last summer was devoted to his readers to know that the last of the preparation of the last volume them which he .composed, though of his Sermons, and, in the course of not the last in the order adopted for it, he exhibited a vigour of underpublication, was the sermon on a standing and capacity of exertion Life of Dissipation and Pleasure, a equal to that of his best days. He sermon written with great dignity began the winter pleased with himand eloquence, and which should be self on account of the completion of regarded as his solemn parting ade this work; and his friends were monition to a class of men whose fattered with the hope that he conduct is highly important to the might live to enjoy the accession of community, and whose reformation emolument and fame which he exand virtue he had long laboured pected it would bring. But the most zealously to promote.
seeds of a mortal disease were lurkIn April, 1748, he married his ing unperceived within him. On the cousin, Katherine Bannatine, daugh- 24th of December, 1800, he comter of the Rev. James Bannatine, one plained of a pain in his bowels, of the ministers of Edinburgh. By which, during that and the following her he had a son, who died in in- day, gave him but little uneasiness, fancy, and a daughter, who lived to and he received as usual the visits her twenty-first year, the pride of of his friends. On the afternoon of her parents, and adorned with all the 26th, the symptoms became viothe accomplishments that became lent and alarming: he felt that he her age and sex. Mrs. Blair her. was approaching the end of his apself, a woman of great good sense pointed course ; and retaining to the and spirit, was also taken from him last moment the full possession of a few years before his death, after his mental faculties, he expired on she had shared with the tenderest the morning of the 27th, with the affection in all his fortunes, and con composure and hope whi becan tributed near half a century to his a christian pastor. happiness and comfort.
The lamentation for his death was Dr. Blair had been naturally of a universal and deep through the city feeble constitution of body; but as which he had so long instructed and he grew up his constitution acquired adorned. Its magistrates, particigreater firmness and vigour. Though pating in the general grief, appointliable to occasional attacks from ed his church to be put in mourning; some of the sharpest and most pain- and his colleague in it, the writer of ful diseases that afflict the human this narrative, who had often expeframe, he enjoyed a general state of rienced the inestimable value of his good health, and, through habitual counsel and friendship, delivered, cheerfulness, temperance, and care, on the sabbath after his funeral, a survived the usual term of human discourse to his congregation. life. For some years he had felt himself unequal to the fatigue of instructing his very large congregation from the pulpit ; and, under the For the Literary Magazine. impression which this feeling produced, he has been heard at times WHY THE ARTS ARE DISCOURto say with a sigh, “ that he was left almost the last of his cotemporaries." Yet he continued to the THAT the arts are not encourend in the regular discharge of all aged in America is a fact which his other official duties, and parti- cannot be disputed. The cause of it cularly in giving advice to the afflict. forms a subject of curious speculaed, who, from different quarters of tion. That it arises from nothing
AGED IN AMERICA.